NVDA Resources

Back in May, we announced that we had collaborated with the Bowen Island Public Library to install NVDA, a free and open-source screen reader that makes computer content accessible to blind and partially sighted users. At the time, we planned to release resources on how to use NVDA, but these plans were put on the back burner due to the ongoing lodge issues.

Today, we would like to share with you a great resource from the American Foundation for the Blind to help get you started with NVDA. This resource will walk you through the basics of NVDA. If using this resource with the public access computers at the Bowen Island Public Library, you can skip the lessons on installing NVDA and Firefox, as they have already been installed and configured.

We hope this resource will help you on your way to learning NVDA.

The Loss of a Friend


Photo from the Bowen Island Undercurrent

Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the celebration of life for Peggy would be held on Friday, October 28. The correct date is Saturday, October 28.

It is with a sad heart that we write about the loss of someone who was a friend to many of us here at Camp Bowen over the years. At the end of September, news reached us that  Margaret Elizabeth Proudlock, who most of us knew as “Peggy”, had passed away. Peggy worked for many years at Camp Bowen on the housekeeping staff when the project was still operated by CNIB. Those of us who had the opportunity to know her as campers or work alongside her as staff know what a special person she was, always looking out for those around her. At about the time CNIB sold the property and the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually iMpaired was established, Peggy retired from Camp Bowen, though some of us still saw her around in The Cove.

“I remember Peggy noticing that I was not fitting in this one year at camp as a kid,” recalls Camp Bowen President, Alex Jurgensen. “She let me help her with collecting some of the laundry from the bathrooms. It was like she knew that’s what I needed to feel better. And, of course, it was. After that, my clearer memories of Peggy are those from The Cove post 2010, where we would talk about how the rebuilding of the summer camp project was going. I’ll miss her for sure and I know many campers and staff, past and present will as well.”

A celebration of life will be held for Peggy on Saturday, October 28 at 2 PM. For details or if you need assistance getting there, please call Alex Jurgensen at +1 (778) 908-0521.

If you would like to share your memories of Peggy, you can do so by sending them to us using the contact information on campbowen.ca. If you would like to have us publish your memories here on the website as a tribute to Peggy, please specifically indicate your permission as part of your submission. We require express permission in order to post submissions we receive.

Less Than A Week Away From The 2017 Camp Bowen Showdown Tournament and Annual General Meeting

This is just a reminder that the 2017 Camp Bowen Showdown Tournament and Annual General Meeting will be held in Surrey in just under a week, on Saturday, October 14, 2017.

Thanks to a generous donation from one of our members, we are pleased to present the tournament prize as a gift card to White Spot valued at $25.

Please let us know if you plan on attending either the annual general meeting or the tournament before Friday, October 13, 2017 so we can best prepare. You can do so by calling +1 (604) 947-0021 extension 2 or by using the contact form on our website.

Our original announcement and teleconferencing details can be found here.

The Camp Bowen Showdown Tournament and Annual General Meeting

Update: For those who would like to attend our annual general meeting but cannot attend in person, you can teleconference into the meeting. Just call either +1 (604) 947-0021 or +1 (844) 692-6936 on the day of the meeting. When you get to the main menu, press 6 and you will be connected to the meeting.

Come help us run camps and have fun at the Camp Bowen showdown tournament fundraiser and Annual General Meeting (AGM). If you are interested in how the society works and would like to help out come to our AGM at 12:30 or just eat food and play showdown from 1:30 to 5. There will be a prize for the tournament winner.

Please let us know as soon as possible so we can organize players and order enough lunches. We can be reached by phone at +1 (604) 947-0021 Extension 2 or by using our contact form on our website.

Note: This event is family friendly.

Saturday, October 14, 2017
5737 180 St., Surrey, BC
Pizza, pop, and chips
Price for AGM:
Price for Lunch and Tournament:


Note: If you need assistance with any part of this route, please call us at: +1 (604) 947-0021 Extension 2.

From Surrey Central

  1. Take the 320 Langley Centre bus from Surrey Central SkyTrain Bay 2. Do not board the 320 Fleetwood bus.
  2. Get off at 60 Ave. and 180 St.
  3. When you get off the bus, turn right and walk down 60 Ave.
  4. At the first intersection, cross straight. You will be crossing 180 St.
  5. Turn left and walk along 180 St.
  6. At the next intersection, cross straight. You will be crossing 58 Ave.
  7. Continue walking straight along 180 St.
  8. At the next intersection, cross straight. You will be crossing 57 Ave.
  9. Continue walking straight along 180 St.
  10. Turn right into the first driveway. You have arrived at your destination. Call us and we’ll meet you.

From Langley Centre

  1. Take the 320 Surrey Central bus from Langley Centre.
  2. Get off at 60 Ave. and 180 St.
  3. When you get off the bus, turn right and walk up 60 Ave.
  4. At the first intersection, turn right and cross. You will be crossing 180 St.
  5. Turn left and walk along 180 St.
  6. At the next intersection, cross straight. You will be crossing 58 Ave.
  7. Continue walking straight along 180 St.
  8. At the next intersection, cross straight. You will be crossing 57 Ave.
  9. Continue walking straight along 180 St.
  10. Turn right into the first driveway. You have arrived at your destination. Call us and we’ll meet you.


  • 12:30 – AGM
  • 1:30 – Lunch
  • 2:00 – Showdown ternament
  • 5:00 – Wrap up

Camp Bowen at Bowfest 2017

Jessica, Jocelyn, and Alex behind the Showdown table with a van in the background.

From left to right: Jessica, Jocelyn, and Alex. They are standing behind the Showdown table at Bowfest 2017.

The Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired was at Bowfest on Bowen Island on Saturday, August 26. Peg, Jessica, Jocelyn, and Alex were on site to run our two booths and interact with the Bowen Island community. At one booth, the society sold Braille puzzle books that challenged sighted people to decode the Braille messages. We also sold customized Braille bookmarks. At our other booth, Bowfest attendees had a chance to try Showdown, a sport for the blind similar to air hockey and table tennis, that was developed right here in BC by two blind men. Thanks to the Bowfest committee and all the volunteers who helped make the day a success. We look forward to returning next year.

Introducing the Camp Bowen Newsline

We are pleased to introduce the Camp Bowen newsline, a new way to access Camp Bowen news via our telephone system. From now on, all articles on the website will also be available in an audio format by calling either +1 (604) 947-0021 or +1 (844) MYBOWEN (692-6936) and pressing 1.

We hope you will find this feature useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us.

Cancellation of 2017 Adult Retreat From August 21-25 at the Lodge at the Old Dorm On Bowen Island

Hello, Everyone,

This is to let you all know that due to insufficient number of registrations, The Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired is having to cancel the retreat that was scheduled for August 21-25 at the Lodge at the Old Dorm. We sincerely regret this decision and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone.

We understand that for many of you the fact that camp wasn’t at the usual spot may have influenced your decision not to register. Our hope is to plan the 2018 retreat at the familiar and well-loved Bowen island Lodge, provided that adequate safety measures that had been compromised on the property can be put in place once more. We are continuing to work on resolving this issue by every avenue available to us and will keep everyone posted on our progress.

For up to date information, please visit www.campbowen.ca or call us at +1 (604) 947-0021 or +1 (844) MYBOWEN (692-6936).


The Camp Bowen team

A Message From Defend Island Forrests

Hi Everyone,

Below is a message circulated on behalf of the Defend Island Forrests group on Bowen Island.

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Thousand People March

I am sending you the letter below In the hope that you will copy, paste and share it with your anyone and everyone as soon as possible so that this information gets to the population of Bowen Island immediately.

Thank you for your help,

Lyn van Lidth de Jeude

Dear Neighbours,

As you may have heard, BC Timber Sales, an arm of the Provincial government, is proposing to add Bowen Island to its logging area. Their proposal has allocated 1,414 hectares of forested Crown Land (that’s 28% of BI’s land mass) as eligible for Industrial logging over the next 20 years. The trees that are proposed to be harvested are all on our mountains where they retain the water that sustains us through the dry times. This is a serious threat to an already limited water supply and there is very little time to change the course of this action.

Please join your neighbours and voice your opinions at the
Thousand People March Sunday July 30th at 1pm on the Bowfest Field

We will meet at the Bowfest Field and walk together to the open house meeting being held by BC Timber Sales at Collins Hall.

Bring your sun hats, water bottles and respectful signs.

Bowen Island needs to stand together to protect our Crown Land from industrial logging. More information is available at defendislandforests.ca

Some of you who are very involved in our community and will receive this information more than once. Please share it with others who may not know and Thank you for your help to defend our Forests.


Defend Island Forests

Important 2017 Adult Camp Information

Please note: We are working hard to resolve the outstanding issues with the Bowen Island Lodge.

The Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired regrets that due to safety work that will not be completed at Bowen Island Lodge in time for our retreat this summer, we have had to book an alternate venue on Bowen Island: The Lodge at the Old Dorm. This is a one year stopgap measure and we will be back at the Bowen Island Lodge next summer.

“Purpose built in 1941 by the Union SteamShip Company aka USSC to provide thirteen rooms for staff residences; it was a key part of the old resort. Purchased 25 years ago, and extensively renovated, thanks to Dan’s “hands-on” attention to detail, today, The Lodge at the Old Dorm delivers that old world feel with today’s charm.” (From the website of The Lodge at the Old Dorm)

The dates the Lodge at the Old Dorm has available are August 21-25 – Monday to Friday. We have already booked these dates. This facility is smaller than Bowen island Lodge so has a more limited capacity so we encourage everyone to get their registration in as soon as possible.

Activities we will plan during the time include:

  • Talent night
  • sing-along
  • Showdown
  • Tandem biking
  • Bus trip to a public beach for swimming
  • Group walk to the village
  • Group hike and/or nature walk
  • A demo day with Canadian Assistive Technologies
  • Basic and/or advanced sessions on assistive technologies
  • Water taxi tour (would be a charge per person)
  • Board games
  • Basic and/or intermediate self-defence workshops

Note: The above activities will run if there is sufficient interest. Further, some activities will only run if our partners are available for these dates. We are working on this now.

The costs for camp this year have not changed from our previously advertized 2017 rates and include all meals at camp. We would also like to remind campers that there is $200 worth of available funding from the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation for BC residents who receive Persons With Disability (PWD) benefits. The cost of accommodation and all meals will be $460 per person based on double occupancy for the four nights. Cost for single occupancy have gone down slightly and would be $710.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause you. We look forward to a number of you joining us. For those of you who can’t make it this year, we look forward to seeing you next year back at the Bowen Island Lodge.

Registration and Pricing

Please note: Camp prices are set by the Bowen Island Lodge with the exception of the amount for Monday’s supper and Thursday’s supper, which are paid by us directly to the Tuscany restaurant and Bowen Island Pub/General Store respectively. Neither the CCB nor the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired add any additional charges to camp fees. We are actively involved in negotiating for better rates on behalf of our campers.

Fill out this form to calculate your camp fees and/or begin the registration process.

Learn more…


If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at +1 (844) MYBOWEN (692-6936) extension 2 or contact us by another method.

Camp Bowen Gives Back: Screen Readers, The Bowen Island Public Library, and Making Information Accessible to Everyone


Working in a community that has supported us with open hearts throughout the past seven years has been rewarding. The generosity of islanders is what has allowed us to remain on island as long as we have and to continue to rebuild the Camp Bowen programs. However, we’ve always felt that we should do more to give back to the island community that has given so much to us. The project outlined in this post marks the first public step in that direction, a step that we hope will be the first of many to come.

Back in February, we approached the Bowen Island Public Library to see if it would be feasible to make the public access computers in the library accessible for blind and partially sighted patrons. The enthusiasm from library staff has been wonderful through the entire time we have worked together on this project.

We’re very pleased to announce today that both of the public computers in the library now run NVDA, an open-source screen reader that reads out the computer screen to blind and partially sighted computer users. Information is so important in this day in age and we recognize that libraries are an important conduit to the world for many people. We at Camp Bowen are glad to have played a part in making some of that information more accessible to Bowen Islanders with disabilities and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Leo and the rest of the team at the Bowen Island Public Library for working with us to make this project a reality. We couldn’t have done it without you.

In the coming weeks we will be providing more information about how to access NVDA at the library and where one can go to find additional resources on this great tool.